How can we attract more women to careers in cybersecurity?
Security Response

“That same survey also found pay inequalities, with 47 percent of men reporting salaries of $120,000, compared to 41 percent of women.”

So, should we take personal responsibility out of the equation to strategize and negotiate for a higher salary? Fact of the matter is, men are better strategizers and negotiators. And if you’re not good at strategy and negotiation, are you really being underpaid? Probably not.

Even though I don’t have a degree, I’ve typically made more than my peers with both bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Here’s how to do it.

  1. It’s all about first making yourself indispensable, which means having critical knowledge that no one else has in your company and, if you leave, it puts the company in a difficult situation in terms of current and future project completion. That might mean learning things no one else wants to, but are critical to your team.
  2. Find a job you’d be happy taking if you don’t receive a counter offer.
  3. Quit your current job. If they don’t make a counter offer, you’re probably still making an additional 10% just by changing jobs. It’s a win-win scenario for you. You typically will have to change jobs several time in your career to get what you’re worth. If you’re a timid Timmy who is afraid to find out if your skills can make it a new place, then your below market pay is probably what you are worth.
  4. Related to the counter offer, if you do get asked to divulge how much you’re being offered at the new company, DON’T DIVULGE IT. If you do, they’re likely to offer to match it, rather than beat it. Instead, say something like, “It’s really a great offer, but I do like it here. But, I really couldn’t pass up my new offer for less than $xxx.” Ask for what you are worth and it should not be based on where you are at with the current company or what you’re being offered by the new company. Your current company has no right to see the offer letter; they’ll use it to their advantage — not yours.

Bottom line, want to make more? Gain indispensable skills, be good at what you do, be willing to find another job and risk your current company not making a counter offer. If you do get a counter offer and accept, just be aware you can only do that maybe twice with the same company. After that, if you want more, you’ll have to move on.

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